Just Imagine What You Could Be

IMAGINE . . .

. . . wanting to be an actor or actress. So you join a community theater group. You get a chance to appear in a play and are given a script. You study your part, learn your lines, and with the director’s help, you learn to become what your character in the play is all about.

You go into rehearsals with the rest of the cast and do well, mastering your delivery, becoming your character, and getting comfortable moving about the stage. Then, before you have the chance to really test yourself on stage in front of an audience, before you get to experience the thrill of applause received for a performance well done, before you can test yourself in a more demanding role, and before the show opens to the public, you decide that you have realized you goal and drop out, leaving that glory to an understudy.

You wouldn’t do that. You shouldn’t do that.

IMAGINE . . .

. . . wanting to run in a marathon. So you start training by first walking longer and longer distances. Then you add jogging to your walking routine until you can keep up a sustained jog for longer and greater distances. Finally, you are running more than jogging, until the day you can run the marathon distance as required.

Before you can test yourself on a real course, against others who are competing against you; before you can experience the camaraderie and toughness of yourself and other runners; before you can understand and appreciate what the accomplishment of finishing a marathon really means — you convince yourself that you can indeed run a marathon, and just before the race, you drop out.

You wouldn’t do that. You shouldn’t do that.

IMAGINE . . .

. . . wanting to be a better speaker, or a more confident speaker.

So you discover Toastmasters. You join a club and receive your manuals. You and others in your club are pleased with your progress. By your fifth or sixth speech, you have lost your nervousness, you are more confident and you have become a better speaker.

But before you finish the Basic Manual, before you have mastered the other lessons that make you complete as a speaker, that teach you how to put together all that you have learned for maximum speaking ability, you now believe that you have accomplished what you set out to do, so you stop coming to meetings.

You wouldn’t do that. You shouldn’t do that.

And you don’t.

You wisely stay and finish the Basic Manual, now convinced that as a speaker you are all that you can be. And now you stop coming to the meetings. Before you get into the Advanced Manuals. Before you learn to use in different settings and circumstances, that which has previously been learned. Before you test yourself to learn more, do more, be more. Before you realize that practice, through a wide range of Advanced Manuals, is what will keep you being a better, more confident speaker — you stop.

You wouldn’t do that. You shouldn’t do that.

IMAGINE . . .

. . . how good a speaker you can become if you continue.

Just imagine.

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